The Joy Of Letting Go

 Did you know parents let go of their children every day, often in ways they don’t realize? Whether your kids are in kindergarten or college, learn how to prepare your hearts for your kids’ independence with Vicki Caruana’s The Joy of Letting Go. The 52 devotional readings within shine a light on all the times readers have loosened their grip on their children and encourages them to continue to let go in life-giving ways. Written by a parenting and education expert, The Joy of Letting Go will comfort and inspire parents in all seasons of parenting.

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The Joy of Letting Go: Releasing Your Teen into Real Life in the Big World (David C. Cook, April 2017)

With readings of encouragement and inspirational quotes, this devotional helps parents prepare their hearts for their children’s independence, whether their kids are just starting kindergarten or graduating from college.

Parents let go of their children every day, even in ways they don’t realize. The 52 devotional readings within shine a light on all the times readers have loosened their grip on their children and encourages them to continue to let go in life-giving ways. Written by a parenting and education expert, The Joy of Letting Go will comfort and inspire parents in all seasons of parenting.

Learn more  and purchase a copy.


My Review

My children are 37, 33, 33 and 28. I was that person that, while teaching my children to be extremely self sufficient, I also was THAT MOM. You know the one.

My child was special! Amazing! Going to rule the world!! (Rolling eyes at myself here)

I also was going to do whatever it took to make that happen.

In doing that, I alienated all my kids and made their life more difficult. Not only were they not 100% prepared, no matter what I taught them, and me having nothing (so I thought) to hang my hat on, our lives became very complicated to say the least.

You raise your kids for the result, to leave your home and be out on their own.

You need to give them the self confidence that they can leave your home, and want to come back and more importantly are comfortable coming home to visit.

They want to come back, NOT because they need to, but because they want to.

God gives us resources to work through this season of our lives!
Vicki Caruana puts these resources together in a great devotional called “The Joy of Letting Go: Releasing Your Teen into Real Life In The Big World
“The, very best words we have from God are Phil 4:6-7- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”

SLAP ME UPSIDE THE HEAD WITH A 2X4!!!

There it is. The direction in which we should let our kids go.

From their first little steps, all the way to the college dorm (or first apartment and job etc.)

With prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving.

Oh, how I would live a do-over!!
1st. For the plain and simple reason that I would follow God’s command.
2nd. So that my children could see me and their childhood home in a different frame of mind. By reframing my whole “mother hen” attitude to a #spreadtheirwingsandwnjoytheirflight attitude, I would give my kids the best thing ever.

Truth that Jesus will protect them and truth that they would always find their way back home.

The verse I gave is one that Caruana uses with 52 devotionals to help parents understand that growing up and moving on (in most cases) isn’t optional, it is the way God intended life to be.

You can purchase The Joy of Letting Go  here at the bottom of the information http://litfusegroup.com/author/VCaruana


Dr. VicVCaruana-435ki Caruana is the author of 20 books and the blog Apples & Chalkdust—named after her bestselling book that has touched the lives of a million educators around the world. Caruana is one of four parenting experts on “Starting Points,” Focus on the Family’s parenting DVD series. Formerly a public school teacher and a homeschooling mom, Vicki is now an assistant professor of education at Mount Saint Mary College in New York. She lives with her station wagon loving husband, Chip, in Newburgh, New York and has two grown sons in Colorado Springs.

You can find Vicki at this blog  http://vickicaruana.blogspot.com.
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HixCrew Organizing Hacks

LifeHacks

I have three pieces of organizational software I use  I will explain about them in this post.

Use a calendar. No matter whether it’s an app or a paper copy, use a calendar. Put EVERYTHING on it.

  1. My husband and I use Gmail calendar,  this is a pretty simplified calendar that my husband and I use across multiple platforms

  2.  my extended family uses Cozi  this is a program that my extended family uses across 3 homes, 9 kids and 5 school systems.

  3. Evernote  this is an incredibly powerful notetaking-webclipping-pdf saving and so much more app.

Here are somethings I use my Gmail calendar for.
Of course schedules, mine, my husbands, my grandkids (sports teams etc)

here is a tutorial on how to set up your calendar

Every bill I have due, goes on the calendar 2 weeks before it’s due. That allows for budgeting, reminds you to actually pay the bill, leaves a paper trail that isn’t huge stack of stuff.
Days I open accounts
Dr’s appts. I am separating this one, because this is how I do it
Dr Joe Blow/Mary Someone (dr’s name and the person who scheduled it – sometimes that is very important, for when they have no record of said appt or it gets rescheduled or whatever, without notifications. I do this for any appt I have, whether it be a Dr or any other service provider
101 What Street (what if you are so sick you can’t tell someone)
Wherever, Wherever
999-999-9999
Friday, October 9, 2015
11:00 AM (I also put it on my calendar 30 minutes early)
Notes: 3 mth xyz check up with fasting labs
(I use an app, so I always send an invitation to my husband The big things like surgeries etc., I send to my son also because he holds my medical power of attorney
Whether you use an app or paper, I do put all this information

Gmail Calendar will also import Facebook events, birthdays and events from your email.  to be a simple run of the mill calendar it is a powerful calendar

Now the Cozi Calendar.  If you have never used this app, please check it out.  It is great.  We are networked across three homes, 9 kids, 5 adults and 5 different school systems.  It works so great, so that all kids schedules, school functions, etc. get put on it and the family has access to it at a glance.  Then you can also sort each “team and get a team lineup” you can sort by person (each person has its own color to add each apt)  Notifications can be sent to only adults, or each person that is involved with the appointment or everyone on the system.  The paid version will let you add birthdays, shopping list, to do list, meal planners and it will even import that Gmail Calendar that I talked about earlier.

here is a short video that helps explain Cozi

I use Evernote that syncs across mine and my husbands as well as the older grandkids tablets/phones.
We use a central grocery list, a central to do list (for days off)
This software package is one of the most productive and necessary apps I have ever used. I do use the paid version, and it has reminders, passwords, and you organize things by “notebooks” it is an amazing, easy but powerful piece of software that my family couldn’t do without. I also use it for my blog to help organize things.

Here is a video overview of Evernote

Imagine a row of notebooks lined up on a shelf, and in those notebooks each little note that is pertinent to that “notebook”  Some of our notebooks are Hix Family passwords, Recipes, Hix Family Manuals (it clips pdf files from the web); His Personal Notebook, Laura’s Personal Notebook; Paul’s Personal Notebook.

In mine (Laura’s Personal Notebook, we are going to use it as an example, so the binder is Memaw Personal.  Inside are all my little “notes” Anything Kids (not schedules) Blog Stuff, Book Reviews, Devotionals, FMF Encouragement, Laura Notes to Check, Scans, WebClip’s

Okay, I know this is overkill on the organizational stuff but it takes that to keep a family as large as ours organized with all the kid schedules etc..
As a grandparent, I do try to get to at least some of every child’s activities.

I always, and I mean always write dates on groceries of when I buy them. I keep a sharpie in the cabinet and before I put them up, I just write the mthdateyear on the package.

Just some random things:

Other things, I use tubs for games, every piece goes in the tub, Each child has an activity box at my house.  Puzzles go in ziplock bags.  I have one huge crayon box, but then each child has a Journaling Bag for trips.  It has a journal, pens, pencils and a few crayons.

On my computer, I use simple file names. If it is something for the kids, I am very pragmatic about it, say Nattie’s basketball schedule, that is exactly what I use for the file name. I don’t fancy them up, nor let the computer decide, I dumb it down as much as I can so that I have no problem finding them. When I clean out my phones, or my desktop on my computer, I use Phone10012015 (the date I clean it) or Desktop10012015 (the date I clean it)
Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Since it is ONLY my husband and I at home, I streamlined our kitchen, 6 plates, 6 bowls, 6 cups, etc. Less to clean, less to take care of and I also bought smaller. I purchased 7” plates, instead of standard dinner plates, so that we would eat less. 

I do a LOT of crockpot cooking (even for us two) I make our dogs food and will soon start making his treats when we run out of what we have.
We are not only getting our organizational skills up to par, but are also getting healthy at the same time.

and my bonus that helps me with the grandkids

make a calendar for your kids; I am talking about a rotation calendar.  Whatever the rotation is for, is up to your family and what works for your family, but for our family, it is a shortened calendar that stays in my car, and has one child’s name on it for every day. (these are the kids I have on a routine basis) whoever;s day it is, gets several privileges as well as tasks.  That person is #1 for the day.  It doesn’t mean they are the best or whatever, it just means for that day, they usually get the most “extra things” and have some extra tasks so it’s not all pretty.

some of these things are  (we have three kids now so, here’s some of our things) My kids are older, so remember this as you are reading

Kid #1 gets to sit up front (I must use my front seat because of lack of seats, so don’t even go there with me) they also get the privilege of holding the money if the kids get to go to the store, they also get to “pay” at the grocery, gas station.  They get to choose first through snacks I bring from home if there are different ones however, I try to do all the same.  If they were staying at home with me that day, they also take their shower first, must help wash the dishes.  they get the trash out of the car (everyone is responsible for getting their own trash to them) so it’s not all good stuff and it’s not all bad stuff

#2 usually doesn’t have that many activities assigned they get a free day basically except they help me because I am disabled, with my things and oxygen etc.

#3 holds the door anywhere we go.  they are responsible for putting all the car buckets up (will explain these in a minute)  

So the person that has the day, is the go to person for the day.  This helps me avoid arguments from the kids of who sits “shotgun”   Sorry look at the calendar.

The rotation continues no matter what, we do, no hold days. Whatever day you are in my car, That calendar day stands.
Way back when I had grandkids staying with me all the time, I started this. I took the arguments out of the equation
(these things MUST be set up and in stone first) and I had them help me do this.

Other things, we have in place already, are
Winner cleans up the game,
Everyone gets their dishes to the sink. Even the littles. If they can’t reach the sink, they put it on the floor. I’m good with that, because it gets it all in one place.
The littles are NOT too little to carry their belongings or pick up their belongs.  If they can stand and play with toys they can put things up and take responsibility for their things.  That doesn’t mean they have to solely be responsible because they are too little.  But if they can take a toy out of a backpack, they can put it back in.

Also in my car, every child has a bucket that has 4 pockets and a handle. This holds their personal belongings in the car for long trips, as well as if we stop and get food they have a place to hold their food.  Kinda like these, and then they decorated them up

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I also have made sure everyone has a cup holder because my van is conveniently unequipped with them. LOL
We have church rules that are already in place, as well as general rules that I expect them to follow everywhere, house rules, and trip rules and we adjust appropriately.  One of the biggest is “hands on car”

When I had the older set of granddaughters staying with me, I had a runner.  We opened the doors, she took off running.  So the rule was implemented, your feet touch the ground, your hands go on the car, until I say go.  If the car is too hot you “pretend to touch it”  This keeps the kids from running and keeps them all together.  Being disabled, you keep your “ducks in a row” where you can LOL
But these are set in stone, and each child knows them and it’s kind of like a “manual for the Hix Crew”

With 9 grandchildren, there is organized chaos. I get more compliments on trips etc, because they know ahead of time what is expected, Just had one start going with us on overnight trips, so he has been added to the rotation and got to get a crash course on the rules. He was the best one on the last two trips!!! Maybe refresher courses are needed. However, the kids wrote the rules to begin with, when this was first implemented, so they take ownership in it.  It works for our family and I can stop the “I wanna go first” or I don’t wanna pick up the game, or all the other little things that kids can find to argue about!

But it’s worked out where first is not always best, last is not always worst, and in between doesn’t get left out.

Everyone has a task and when you have this many people at one time sometimes in a hotel room/car etc, it is necessary

Being organized is a cohesive lifestyle. You may not have to be “this” organized, and you may have to be even more organized.

I am NOT an organized person  I am very unorganized.  I have ADD.  I cannot focus on any one project for any given length of time

Some of this maybe duplicated, and some is overkill, however, when you are as chronically UN organized as I am, this keeps me on track and focused.  After the first setups with each one, it’s as easy as just typing a small note and hitting save.  I have used Gmail Calendar for a few years now as well as Cozi and just found Evernote and started with it.  

However, these three apps are my lifesavers.  

One thing I also do, is I make a print copy (for backup) of each month.  I don’t do it every time something changes, because they each have their own internal “cloud” to back up to. Just a few things that work for our family to give us some sense of order in our huge family organized chaos.

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Great Little Book About Teaching Children About Anger

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Teaching Christs Children about Feeling Angry is written from a child’s point of view, which makes it oh so much easier to be able to say “let’s read this”

Hyman brings practical daily use, Bible Verses and an easy to read format to help children understand that being angry is okay, sinning while we are angry is not.

Anger 1

Teaching Christ’s Children about Feeling Angry, while the title implies it is for Christians only, gives extremely great common advice for anyone.  Not just Christians.  This is the only thing I do not like about the book.  To me, the title excludes some children.  Even though we are all children of God, someone who has never read the Bible could interpret this title to say “not me”

I know that isn’t what Hyman wanted or is saying.  With great illustrations, and following a series of books by Hyman, I love the content of the book and think the title needs work!  

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More about the Author

CorineCorine Hyman is a clinical psychologist who has helped families for close to 10 years. Currently, she lives in Baltimore, MD where she has opened her home to children without families by becoming a foster parent. The idea for her first book, Why We Give Gifts at Christmas Time,  was placed in her heart many years ago and since its publishing Corine has published several other books including: What Is Love, My Journey with Jesus Christ, Jaden Goes to Foster Care, (see my review here) and Why I Give. With the exception of Jaden Goes to Foster Care, each book is designed to use the Bible to help both children and adults understand the biblical basis for why Christians do what they do. Look for her upcoming series on what the Bible has to say about feelings in August of 2015. To help design a character in her upcoming book, email her at booksbycorine@gmail.com.

Or you can link up with her at the following links

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Thanks for reading and you can link of with me on the following links.

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Devotions Off The Map – 52 Week Devotional Journey #FCBloggers

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I had the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy of Devotions Off The Map – 52 Week Devotional Journey with Family Christian Stores.  Written by Katherine Blackmore, B&h Kids Editorial and Dandi Mackall.  This book is published by B&H Publishing, and let me just say, they know what will catch a kid’s attention and keep them reading. Or at least it did for this old kid!!!

Upon opening the book, you cannot help but notice all the super bright colors and the just complete “neatness” of the book. It isn’t busy, nor is it slow.

unnamedAs you get into the book there are 52 devotions that give you life situations, and I am going to use this one as an example: Making Camp: Learning to Love Along The Way.

Devotions Off The Map is available for Preorder at this link.  It should be in the stores by August 1, 2015 . The book has special graphics that explain each part of the devotional, like

ThTreee Overlook – it explains what your child will learn in the devotional – our example is “You can learn to show love to everyone”

 

CompassThis Is The Way – provides one key Bible verse and some scripture references to memorize, study, word by word, and/or life applications. All pointing you back to the devotional. Our example is O John 4:20 – If anyone says. “I love God” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen. And a few more verses that go with the devotional.

treehouse formatedLessons From The Tangled Treehouse – this section is where the devotions come in. Easy to read, challenging for your child and something that your child might find that He or she already knows – Our example is about a person that goes somewhere for a few weeks, and upon their roommate walking in the room, immediately judges them. In their own mind, they are sure they don’t like the roommate, and are not going to be open to getting to know them. However, upon getting to know them, they realize that they and the roommate really do have a lot in common and the further they go into the time together, they really do like each other a lot and become very close friends. Something kids go through at school, camps etc. all the time. God tells us we are liars if we say we love Him, but do not like our brothers. That’s harsh! However, the devotional puts it in words that are so easy for any child to understand.

Bushes FormatedShady Grove Prayers – this is the part of the devotional where simple prayers, already written out for you that you can either pray with your child, or have your child read and then say their own based on the examples given.    for non-readers can pray out loud and read to them, the words are easy enough and always again they make these so easy to adjust for non-readers and to be able to put into words they can understand.  Our example uses this prayer.

“Dear God, Thank you for your love, thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for me. Your love is amazing. Help me to show that love to others whether I know them well or not.
want to be more like you. Amen”  

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I don’t know a child of God (of any age) that would not benefit from God’s help in this devotional. That’s the beauty of this book. So much applies to adults, kids, and even non-readers, (now this is my opinion, so don’t go trying to say, oh I know one, I know one!!!) I am sure there is someone somewhere, who wouldn’t like this book!

questions FormatedField Study – is a question and answer section that begin with why, how when or where. These questions, will push a child to think, use their Bible to look up answers or open a dialogue between a parent/teacher/guardian to open the child’s mind to different opinions based on sound Biblical principles – One of our examples is the following “How can you love someone who doesn’t seem to love you?” That’s just one of 4 in this particular devotional.

Boots formatedWalking to Boulder Bridge– this section is where you child puts what they have learned into everyday life. With activities, community projects, crafts or even family discussion time. I love this part of it. Being a very hands on thinker, learner. This appeals to my inner child so much! I know for me, “doing” teaches me so much more and not just reading from a book. So our example, Show love to one another, gives examples, like cut out a heart, put the initials of people you love. On the other side, write people’s initials that may need some love shown to them, and then keep the heart in your pillowcase so that you can remember it, pull it out and pray for each person that you wrote down, also it helps you remember that God loves everyone equally! – This section, again, also opens up ideas from parents/teachers/guardians, and there are so many other ways to use this, like if you know someone hurting, you could write them a short note, or just “God loves you” with the verse reference and even mail it to them or many other applications that are age proper, and based on your child’s skills, and learning abilities. Whatever works best for your family?

I think my last statement “whatever works best for your family” is one of the reasons I love this book so much. Nothing is just as it is. There are so many variations to how each section can be used and applied to your family and your lifestyle.
The Lessons Part – if the child is a non-reader, the book is written in such a way that most younger kids could understand the life application because of wordings that the writers have used in my opinion, younger children, may not understand, because of concepts of time and distance, however, they can easily be used in their words and their understanding and changed up to have a jumping off point and then the book is not just useful for readers alone.

Prayer

This devotional is  as a follow-up to a VBS, however, there is no way that you need to go to the VBS to understand the book.  I pray that anyone that purchases this little book will love it as much as I have!  I go on vacation soon with my grandchildren, and this will be our daily devotional book.  I am sure around day three of “all the cousins” they will need a great reminder of showing their love to someone and this is just the book for it!   We range from 1-year-old to 18 years old, so they all will be able to put it to use in some way and fashion!  I really cannot say enough good about Devotions Off The Map a 52 Week Devotional Journey;

 

 So much simplicity rolled up into 52 devotions, which will touch your child’s heart for a lifetime!

You can buy this book at a Family Christian Store near you, or online at http://www.familychristian.com/catalog/product/view/id/311787/

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog  I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done.  Al thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and OI only recommend products or services I use personally ad believe will be good for my readers  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255:  "Guides Concerning The Use Of Endorsements and 
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Grandparents Change

I have had the privilege of caring for 4 of my grandchildren this week since Thursday morning, and we have been in VBS this week so we have had a LOT of time together.  I asked for this pleasure, I begged for it, (because I had been sick) and my son was (rightly so) scared of leaving the kids with me, and me getting sicker..,.  I LOVE my children with all my heart.  They are the most amazing children in the world.  They have the most amazing children in the world.  My SWEET beautiful, talented, gifted, brilliant, smart, helpful, mischievous, (did I say amazing) grandchildren.

Knowing that I was 100% responsible for their well-being for this period of a time, and with their parents so far away, terrified me in a way, I was never terrified as a parent.  I was confident as a parent, I was strict, I was over strict (with one) and too lazy with the other, and just down right, flat-out wrong

I found myself, very “un”confident, very second guessing, very “guilty” about every word, every action, every reaction, and every choice that was made.  Was it right, was it wrong, did I screw them up forever, did I do something special that they would always remember, or could they just have fun…  (they didn’t 100% of the time) and ya know what… That was OKAY.

I don’t have to make everything perfect for my grandchildren all the time, I don’t have to be “on” 100% of the time, 100% of everything being, going, doing, planning, playing, talking and or that Disneyland grandparent (without the benefit of Disneyland)

i CAN BE OFF AND IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY.  I can apologize and let them realize that I am not perfect (trust me, they knew it anyway, but I was clueless) and that life sometimes with grandparents will be NOT fun and games, and NOT about doing something “fun” or “planned” or whatever…..

It will be rules, and it will be discipline and it could be hard… But it can still be fun…  and that’s okay….

I hurt each one of them’s feelings in some way this weekend, somehow.  I made them obey (oh my gosh) and they even had to help at home, and  shocker, I know, they even back talked (Brian and Amilia, please don’t freak out, because that’s NORMAL for children to do, and while it’s not necessarily the norm for parents) it’s okay as their grandparent to let it happen.  Because that’s how they stand up for themselves, become independent, have a voice…sometimes, it’s okay for them to be wrong, and it be okay… (with me) I need to remember that they aren’t little adults, they are KIDS, with KID feelings, KID emotions and KID hearts. (even the teenagers)   (Just please know these kids aren’t disobedient) they are KIDS!!!)  It may seem like they are being just unruly and whatever else, but please know that it is JUST the opposite!!

Those hearts, so big, so amazing, and they LOVE their grandparents (all of them, we discussed YOU ALL this weekend) and that all of their grandparents are super grandparents.

I get to be in their lives more than most and for us, it is a routine, Church, Library days, every week something fun (at least once) and they are part of a routine with me, and they are AMAZING!!!   They have learned to give my insulin shots (I can do it, they choose too) they help with my oxygen and my wheelchair and, oh my gosh, there is NOT enough words that I can say to say to them, thank you…. for being so amazing.

You 4 kids have helped me so much this weekend, not just “physically” but emotionally and spiritually and in ways, that you may never know.

I have realized, exactly HOW HARD it is for your parents and realize that they are incredible, awesome parents,  (even when I think they are too strict)  Because sometimes strict is what is necessary to teach.

I cannot express my love for these 4 kids (and the rest of them) in words.  There are no words.

But know, that you have taught Memaw so much in such a short little time, that I pray, and I am praying hard that each day with you from here on out will be incredibly different.  Not necessarily different in things we do, but different in expectations of your behaviors.

I expect you to back talk, I expect you to “have wiggles” and suck the water bottle in ’till it scrunches, and to fight with your brothers and sisters, and argue with me, because

that’s what kids do… 

doesn’t make it right, but it makes it okay…

and discipline (the right way) isn’t a bad thing, trusting you that your choices and your actions are okay…..  And knowing that because you have a life with God, you are going to still make bad choices, but that you already know when you have done something wrong.  You KNOW, because you have that conviction of God’s heart.

I have also learned that way too much, is WAY too much…. Down time, is a good thing… Just sitting around reading a book and not being “on” is okay… (well, I knew it was anyway) but the “entertainment factor” is changing.   I do NOT have to entertain you 100% of the time that I am with you…. YOU can entertain me, with your strength and your wisdom, and your choices (because you all make awesome choices most of the time) and your just being who you are.

Who you are, is, my SWEET beautiful, talented, gifted, brilliant, smart, helpful, mischievous, (did I say amazing) grandchildren, this also goes for the rest that weren’t with me this weekend.  I think you all are so awesome and all the above too…

Just know that there are gonna be some changes.   You may not like some of the changes coming up, but just know that the changes in me are gonna be there.  Because you all deserve the best.

 

2 Timothy 1:13-14  “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.  Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

 

God has blessed me with these amazing grandchildren, and I am so honored to be their grandparent…   I pray that he can give me the strength, and the wisdom to do what is right by these amazing children.  (a couple that aren’t children, but teenagers)  They DESERVE the most amazing life ever!!!!  Don’t even think that there will be more things  more things happening and more “going”  (it will probably be less) and that there will be more discipline, just different discipline.  No more of the thinking you have to be perfect all the time, but more of the knowing that you will be kids and going to be some things happen that well, you probably need to be disciplined for.  But know now that the discipline, probably will not like any discipline you have ever received before.  I’ve tried, but I know I am very inconsistent, and I will promise you that God will bless our relationship 100% more than he has already has and because of that, things will change…

Yes you must have manners, yes you have to not hit your brothers and sisters, and yes, you even have to clean up after yourself, that doesn’t change.

You do get to have fun, you do get to know that when you mess us, that it’s going to be okay.  You do need to know that no matter what you do, I am never going to stop loving you.

No matter what you say, I will NEVER stop loving you.

I didn’t think it was possible to love you any more than I already have, but I do.

Thank you for this wakeup call….

Memaw needed it.

Thank you again, Brian and Amilia for being the BEST parents for these children.  I am so proud that you are the parents of my grandchildren and honored that you trust me enough.  I pray that you will see the change also, NOT in the kids, because they are and have done exactly what they should have done, being kids and learning about life.

They are awesome, and you both have done an incredible job raising them.

Isaiah 46:4  “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

What a promise.  HE will rescue me.  I am so ready to be rescued!  Oh yes, God, please rescue me, please take me to a place that only you can.  I NEED to be rescued from myself.  From that grandparent that sees everything as “if you show them fun, they will love you” to the grandparent that if you show them love, they already love you… I don’t have to show them fun, I have to show them respect.  and love.  That’s IT, with those two things, then the rest will come.

God please give me the love, the understanding and thank you for the blessing to be the best grandparent I can for these children, because they deserve the very best.  I thank you every day for them and for the gift of their beautiful lives!  Thank you so much for gifting me with their parents also.

Here are some pictures from our week.  I didn’t get many, but here’s couple!

Five Minute Friday Lost

Lost

 
  1. no longer possessed or retained: lost friends.
  2. no longer to be found: lost articles.
  3. having gone astray or missed the way;  bewildered as to place,direction, etc.: lost children.
  4. not used to good purpose, as opportunities, time, or labor;wasted: a lost advantage.
  5. 5. being something that someone has failed to win: a lost prize.
 

Lost

 

I never really sat down and thought about what this word really means until tonight.  “Lost”  I’ve lost my keys, lost my glasses, lost love, lost a family member, I’ve lost a game.  But what have I really lost?  Most of these things are tangible items.  Items that can be replaced.  Except for a family member, I think these things can be replaced and or made better…

Losing a loved one, is well, irreplaceable,

I have never been so lost as knowing that my parents are both gone.  I remember a few weeks after my mother died, I was in the grocery store and needed a recipe, I went to the phone (this was before cellphones) and picked up the phone, dialed the number to my home that I great up in, where she always answered the phone, and there was no answer.   I just slumped down right in the grocery store and that’s when I lost it.  Not at the funeral, not the day she died, but there in that grocery store, sitting on the floor, holding the phone, bawling my eyes out.  I LOST my mom and I needed her.  I needed her a lot.  She was always my rock, always my go to person.  Her and I may have fought like cats and dogs, and not gotten along well, but she was always there no matter what.

That was a constant that I could always remember.

Mom was, well mom.  Strong, (when you lose two children before you, that makes you strong) she loved our God, (her faith never faltered) she was “Mom”

I know that for me, I want to immolate my mother’s personality, her love for giving to others, and her strength.  I pray that the love I lost and the person I lost, will live on in me.  It’s not that I would ever compare myself to her, because there is no comparison.  She was/is my rock,  I thank God every single day for the gift He gave me, when I was born to her.

Having a strong mom, with a strong-willed child, isn’t it amazing how he knows… He knows that the mother I needed wouldn’t back down, would be the person that I needed to stand strong and be able to stand up to my wilfulness… I thank God every day that He gave me her,

After life circumstances, I know that having a mom like I did isn’t a rare thing…

Thank you Lord for this gift, thank you for helping me understand that I didn’t lose a mom, I gained a legacy.

I love you mom

My Beautiful Mom

 

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Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday

 

 

 

 

 

this is from Lisa-Jo Baker’s Blog that explains FMF)
So, here’s the skinny: every Friday for going on four years now hundreds of people have joined a kind of writing flash mob over here.
We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post here at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).
No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
It started because I’d been thinking about writing and how often our perfectionism gets in the way of our words. And I figured, why not take 5 minutes and see what comes out: not a perfect post, not a profound post, just five minutes of focused writing.
So now on Fridays a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write without worrying if it’s just right gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes.
Your words. This shared feast. It’s easy to join in, just:
Check what the prompt is on my Lisa Jo Baker’s Blog.
Write a post in only five minutes on that topic on your blog.
{And if you don’t have a blog, no worries! Just leave your writing as a comment on my post} Link over to Lisa’s blog and invite friends to join in. Select the permalink to your post {so not your blog url http://www.lisajobaker.com but your post url
http://www.lisajobaker.com/2012/07/five-minute-friday-2/ } Using the blue linky tool at the bottom of Lisa’ Five Minute Friday post enter your link. It will also walk you through selecting which photo you want to show up in the linky. Your post will show up in our Five Minute Friday linky. Be sure and encourage the person who linked up before you!
Our most important requirement for participation: There’s really only one absolute, no ifs, ands or buts about it
Five Minute Friday rule: you must visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community

 

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Surprised By Motherhood Review

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My #SurprisedbyMotherhood journey is anything but pretty.  Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE my children. They are the love of my life!

I am so honored to be their mother.

However, getting here, has been a journey of pain, agony, illnesses, hate, bitterness and then seeping out to being a helicopter mom, over-protectiveness and then just pure respect and love.  Loving being their friend as adults

The back story.

I was born to two parent that absolutely adored me!  However, they lost two children, one at the age of 8 in a car accident and the 2nd at the age of 28 to a completed suicide.  My parents loved the two of us remaining, however, they also were very depressed (mom) but oh how she loved God.  She put her faith in Him and she lived, knowing that it was #GodsPlans

My dad however, while a great dad, great provider, was hard to love.  He didn’t show love, he didn’t show affection.

Mom and Dad both ended up crippled for life from the car accident, but they both worked their tails off to give for us and give my remaining sister and me everything we wanted and needed and then our kids also.

So while I had role models, their model was not a true identity of who they were.  It was tainted. By life, by circumstances, by death, mostly..

Okay fast forward to me being 21.  I married the first person that asked me.  I thought I was in love with him.  We fought constantly, we fought hard.  He was a great provider, and when we did get along, we were fantastic.  However, we ended up pregnant and then it was only downhill from there.

We split up with my oldest son was 3 months old I went home for several years. “Let” my mother raise my son, except when convenient me to be a parent.   His Granny was the person he loved, he went to, and he looked up to as a parent.  Not me.  I was a passerby, they while I was there almost every day.  I didn’t take an active role in raising him.

That soon changed.  My mom was older and tired.  So she said no more, to me.  This was the best thing that ever happened to me.  When Brian was 3-year-old and being abandoned by his father and had been by his mother except hen convenient for them, we realized, hmm how many emotional issues does he have.  Hyperactivity (yes at 3) and as he grew, we also knew he was obsessive compulsive and oppositional (gee wonder why mom) and then dyslexic.

During this time from 3-5 for him, I also married again, got pregnant again (I will talk about that soon) and Brian was ecstatic, He had a parent that gave him the time of day.  I moved out from my parent’s home and soon had to parent.

I learned hard and fast, just how hard it was.

Okay back to the pregnancy.  When I found out I was pregnant again.  I cried, literally sat down and cried, because I did NOT want a 2nd child.  I couldn’t put enough time into the first one, much less a 2nd one.

Also during that time, I ended up divorced again.  *after only 6 months

David was sick from the get go.  Born a month premature, also with lung disease.  Born with sores all over his body from my water having broken early and not knowing it.

On the day of his birth Dec 21, I was alone.  I had gone to a routine apt and they said we are taking him now, Scared, terrified actually (way before cell phones) I tried to reach my parents, my mom was gone to the zoo with all of her grandkids, and my dad working, and I finally reached him.  By the time they did the C-section and I recovered, my aunt, my sister-in-law were there.  They told me how beautiful he was, red hair blue eyes.  Etc.  But it was Christmas time, and this particular hospital NICU was on a different floor.  I was not allowed to leave the floor without someone with me and he was not allowed to come up without someone with me (because of the C-section) I finally got to see my son after 5 days.  (His daddy never showed up, because he never received the message that I had given birth)

Finally get to come home from the hospital, and let me just say that a newborn a 5-year-old hyperactive boy and I was given out.  I made very bad choices in my life and not even a prayer to God for help, guidance and/or love I was lost totally.

By 6 weeks., David had pneumonia twice already and then ended up in the hospital.

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This was my wake up call.  To hear my baby in another room screaming from spinal taps, and IV’s and whatever else they did to him, I realized I had to wake up, be a parent and realize that my children needed to come first.

Then I get sick, with a devastating skin disease (yes there are those) and ended up with blood poisoning and was alone again and not able to parent right.  My oldest son, was my lifesaver, he took care of David, took care of me, and took care of our home.  He was amazing but just too much to be given to a then 6-year-old.  But by this time my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

So in a period of 6 years, I got married, had a baby, divorced, sister completed suicide,  married, pregnant, divorced, had a baby that was in NICU and then a baby that was seriously ill, I ended up seriously ill,  and a mother terminally ill then got REMARRIED (to the 2nd one again) and mom died, then…,. Husband was diagnosed with leukemia.

For several months on end, my children again had no parent with them. They lived with relatives again.

 

Okay, fast forward 20 plus years.  I am now the mother of 4 (my husband had two) and I am trying to be the best parent I can be.  I am in their life, I am madly in love with them, and I am so proud of their adult lives and enjoy my children.  They are such a blessing to me.

After years of learning disabilities, basketball games, cub scout and boy scout meetings and camp outs, and playing in the dirt, learning new things, struggling with chemistry, struggling with life choices, etc., my boys and daughter are the 4 blessings God has gifted me with that make my life so amazing

Then add in the 9 grandchildren.

I am so extremely blessed that my children still love me.  I have broken the cycle that we were in as a family.

I am continually amazed and #SurprisedbyMotherhood

Because as the mother of adult children, I can honestly say that I am so proud and so in love with those 4 Gifts from God.

I cannot even put into words how much I love them

 

Now the book Lisa-Jo Baker’s book Surprised by Motherhood, teaches that all moms will be #SurprisedbyMotherhood.  It’s what you get out of it, then give back that IS the gift.

Always He knits together what is separated, fractured, to create wholeness

I am encouraged by this book, but even more encouraged by the Gifts from God of motherhood, separation, reconciliation, and wholeness

It wasn’t pretty by any means, in fact it was downright dirty,

But now it’s whole, we have our issues, we have problems, we love deeply, but we love

Here is the trailer for the book Surprised by Motherhood.  I give this book 5 stars… IF I could give more I would!

 

Thank you Jesus for the gift of Tara, Brian, Paul and David.  Thank you for the gifts of my parents and for the gifts of teaching me what wasn’t right.

I may not can change what happened in their lives, but I can change what happens In THEIR kids’ lives to be that loving, kind, Memaw, that the kids can run to and take sanctuary is my #surprise

Because God gifts eternal forgiveness I know I can’t make it right, but I am forgiven.

 

Please get your copy of Surprised by Motherhood and know you will be blessed forever.  Your life will change from the words written on the pages there.  I have learned that no matter how messy it was, now it’s blessed by God and being a mom/Memaw is all I ever want to do

Purchase your copy of this book here

http://lisajobaker.com/surprised-by-motherhood/#

 

Get your sample of the first three chapters here

Sample Chapters

 

(copied from Lisa-Jo Baker)

Top 10 reasons moms are saying you should read this book:Because you need something to read when you are locking yourself in the bathroom for some quiet time – Angie click to tweet

  1. It’s a heart-to-heart from a friend who “gets it”- the hard, the hurt, and the heights of this mysterious messy miracle called motherhood. – Katie click to tweet
  2. Because no matter how old you are or how old your kids are, it still feels pretty fantastic to have someone tell you that motherhood (and you) deserve a medal, a superhero cape, and likely, a chocolate sundae. – Rebekah click to tweet
  3. Because it’s a reminder you’re doing holy work & also it’s OK to cry a bit when they get out of bed AGAIN.  – Alia click to tweet
  4. Because sometimes you need your friend to sit you down and tell you that what you’re doing right now – all of it – will build the love in our kids. – Andrea click to tweet
  5. Because it’s better than fried chicken. – Kate click to tweet
  6. Our mothering either comes from our own mom’s or in spite of them – Lisa-Jo’s journey is a beautiful combination of both. – Susan click to tweet
  7. Because Lisa-Jo really gets it… she gets the whole loving your kids and at the same time wanting to throw yourself on the floor and throw a tantrum of your own. – Julie click to tweet
  8. Because Mom’s need a guidebook, to go with their afternoon chocolate, while waiting in the school pick up line. – Kashoan click to tweet
  9. Because in my crazy, try harder life, I need a reminder that I really don’t want this mothering thing to be over. – Lori click to tweet

– See more at: http://lisajobaker.c
om/surprised-by-motherhood/#sthash.INlkNm7M.dpuf

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